KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Wednesday ordered the removal of encroachers from the Karachi Circular Railway’s (KRC) route so that work could be started on the project through CPEC.
He was presiding over a meeting on the KCR at the new Secretariat. The meeting was attended by Transport Minister Syed Nasir Shah, Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) (Development) M. Waseem, Transport Secretary Taha Farooqi, Finance Secretary Hassan Naqvi, Karachi Divisional Superintendent for Railways Nisar Memon and others.
Briefing the chief minister, Nasir Shah said that the KCR project had a total length of 43 kilometres of which 13.43 kilometres was on the railways main line and 29.69 km on the KCR loop.
He added that he had personally visited the entire KCR route on Tuesday and found encroachments along its route.
Memon said that the total land required for the KCR project was 360 acres, of which 260 acres was of Pakistan Railways land and 100 was on the main line.
He added that 67 acres of area were under encroachment, including 47 acres on the KCR loop and 20 acres on the main line, adding that 4,653 houses had been constructed on the encroached land along with 2,997 other establishments. He stated that around 20 per cent of the right of way of the KCR was effectively under encroachment. He pointed out that the project could only be implemented if the encroachments were removed from its route.
Giving details of the encroachment on the KCR Loop Section he said that at Wazir Mansion 29.28 acres were under encroachment, from Wazir Mansion to Baldia Town 0.82 acres, near Orangi Nala 1.91 acres, from Orangi to Nazimabad 1.44 acres, Nazimabad-Liaquatabad 2.36 acres, Liaquatabad to Gilani 3.16 acres, Gilani to Urdu College 2.05 acres, Urdu College to University road 4.16 acres and from University road to Depot Hill 0.91 acres.
The Sindh CM was also informed that the encroachment on the KCR main line added up to around 20.647 with encroachment on the line from Tower to Karachi City being 0.46 acres, Karachi City to Karachi Cantt 1.67 acres, Karachi Cantt to Chanisar halt 5.837 acres, Chanesar halt to Departure Yard 11.77 acres and Departure yard to Drigh Road 2.63 acres.
The CM directed Karachi Commissioner Aijaz Khan to hold a meeting with all the deputy commissioners and work out a plan to remove encroachment from the KCR route and submit a report within seven days. He also directed the Finance Secretary to release Rs 45 million for conducting a feasibility study of the KCR.
He said that the KCR’s feasibility report had to be submitted in to the Pakistan China Joint Cooperation Committee in order for it to be integrated into CPEC projects. He directed the ACS M Waseem to coordinate with the federal government for issuing sovereign guarantees.